Episode 600: Two Robots Talking to Each Other

Daniel and Manton talk about Manton’s recent blog posts about allegations that OpenAI stole Scarlett Johansson’s voice. They talk about the difficulty of arguing on facts when emotions run high, and how people on the internet might jump into any debate if it puts an “enemy” in a less horrible light. They talk specifically about whether Scarlett Johansson has a legal case against OpenAI, and about the importance of using facts when debating issues you care about and not resorting to exaggerations or falsehoods. Finally, they ask how we as technologists can lean into AI while maintaining human emotion and engagement.

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May 25, 2024 at 7:28 pm.

Episode 598: Maybe They Just Hate Pianos

Daniel and Manton talk about Apple’s latest event and the release of new iPads, Apple Pencil, and Magic Keyboard. They wonder whether iPad will ever be able to run Mac apps? They react to Apple’s new “Crush!” ad, and wonder whether they will pull it and/or apologize (spoiler: they did!). Finally, they talk about Mastodon’s new US non-profit, and Jack Dorsey leaving the board of Bluesky.

Many thanks to our sponsors this week:

Links:

  • Apple Event – Apple’s May 7 event announcing new iPads.
  • Dithering – Membership-only podcast by John Gruber and Ben Thompson.
  • Accidental Tech Podcast – Popular tech podcast with an Apple slant.
  • Give Us a Tablet – Manton’s 2008 post describing his desire for a Mac-based tablet.
  • Crush! – Apple’s controversial iPad Pro ad.
  • Boom Kill Cry – Adam Lisagor’s take on Apple’s ad.
  • Mastodon U.S. Non-Profit – Blog post announcing the new corporation.
  • Ghost – Another non-profit publishing platform.
  • ActivityPub – The open protocol behind Mastodon.
  • Micro.blog – Manton’s microblogging service, also an ActivityPub participant.
  • Bluesky – The social network that spun out of Twitter before Elon Musk could stop it …
  • Jack Dorsey Quits – The Guardian reports on Dorsey’s departure from the Bluesky board.
  • Nostr – Another decentralized social networking platform.

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May 9, 2024 at 10:05 pm.

Episode 595: The River of Nerds

Manton and Daniel check in again about their WWDC plans, and appreciate the value of meeting up with people in person. They talk about the newly announced “One More Thing” conferenced slated to take place near Apple during WWDC week. Finally they talk about the debut of the AltStore as a turning point for the openness of the App Store, and revisit the potential risks of adopting Apple’s “updated business model.”

Links:

  • WWDC 24 – Apple’s annual developer conference.
  • Release Notes 2019 – The last official event from the once-annual conference.
  • One More Thing Conference – Alternative conference taking place in Cupertino the week of WWDC.
  • River of News – Dave Winer’s 2014 blog post describing a form of RSS news reading.
  • Tweet Marker – Manton’s erstwhile social media position-syncing service.
  • AltStore PAL – New EU-based alternative App Store.
  • Delta – The game emulator by the co-developer of AltStore, available on Apple’s App Store.

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April 19, 2024 at 8:25 pm.

Episode 594: Dreams and Hopes

Manton gets his first Apple Silicon Mac. They talk about the longevity of Apple devices and the particular performance attributes of Apple Silicon. They look forward to WWDC, anticipating the possibility of attending the in-person event. They are excited about the hinted big breakthrough in AI, and imagine how Apple might employ device-local AI for a variety of useful features.

Many thanks to our sponsor this week:

RevenueCat: In-app subscriptions made easy. Also check out the Sub Club Podcast!

Links:

  • Docker – Popular solution for virtualizing systems, particularly Linux ones.
  • Giddy With Mac-ness – Daniel’s 2021 appearance on Daring Fireball, celebrating the M1 MacBook Pro.
  • Only at Walmart – $699 MacBook Air on sale at Walmart.
  • Absolutely Incredible – Teaser tweet from Greg Joswiak about AI announcements coming at WWDC.
  • Socks in the Knob-Hole – Episode of Accidental Tech Podcast in which they talk about the AI teasers.
  • AI Won’t Replace Doctors – NPR show about AI and how it will be used by professionals, including doctors, to extend their capabilities.

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April 4, 2024 at 10:38 pm.

Episode 591: A Little More Wild West

Manton and Daniel talk a teensy bit more about the EU’s Digital Market’s Act, and Apple’s recent decision to offer web-based sideloading to certain developers. They talk about whether Manton would open an EU subsidiary if given the chance, and whether simply plunging in and doing something is the best way to find out what it’s worth.

Links:

  • Apple Announces Changes – Apple’s press release about new sideloading opportunities for some developers in the EU.
  • The Art of War – Free online version of Macchiavelli’s book.
  • Strata for Micro.blog – App store link to the Micro.blog-based notes app.
  • _David Smith – So-called “Underscore” David Smith, developer of WidgetSmith and other apps.
  • WidgetSmith – David Smith’s widget customization app.

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March 16, 2024 at 6:50 pm.

Episode 590: A Small Sliver of Truth

Daniel and Manton talk about Apple reinstating Epic’s developer account for the EU, and then banning it again. They compare it with Apple’s recent public reaction to Spotify and the EU’s $2B fine against the company. They wonder if Apple has become fixated on this as a fight of passion, to their detriment. Finally, a wish for Apple to put somebody new in charge of the App Store to help to fulfill its mission.

Links:

  • Catastrophic Response – The Verge’s 2020 report on Apple’s imminent termination of Epic’s developer account.
  • Fortnite Will Return – TechCrunch reports on Apple’s previous approval of an Epic subsidiary in Europe.
  • Terminated Again – TechCrunch reports on the latest termination of Epic’s European account.
  • Apple Statement – Apple responds to the EU’s decision to fine it nearly $2B.
  • Dithering – Paid podcast featuring Ben Thompson and John Gruber.
  • There’s an App for That – Manton’s response to a recent post on Ben Thompson’s Stratechery newsletter.
  • Epic’s Shared Emails – Epic writes about the ongoing saga and includes copies of emails between them and Apple.
  • The Long Arm of the EU – Tweet from EU commission “Under the DMA, there is no room for threats…”
  • Massive Decisions – Tweets from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney alleging that Apple has deviated from its own values.
  • A Car it Never Built – Bloomberg article about Apple’s canceled car project, featuring details about some of the prototype designs.
  • Apple Will Reinstate Developer Account – 9to5mac reports on the reinstatement by Apple of Epic’s European developer account.

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March 8, 2024 at 9:29 pm.

Episode 587: It’s a Lot of Money

Manton and Daniel talk about Daniel’s looming deadline for deciding whether or not to return his Apple Vision Pro. They speculate about whether a lot of people are returning them, and if so, is that worrying to Apple? What will the resale value of an Apple Vision Pro be in a year’s time? Finally, Daniel talks about showing the device to his kids, and shares his frustrations with the device’s lack of multi-user features.

Many thanks to our sponsor this week:

  • RevenueCat: In-app subscriptions made easy. Also check out the Sub Club Podcast!
  • Links:

    • Quest is Better – Mark Zuckerburg’s video comparison of Apple Vision Pro to Quest Pro.
    • The Honeymoon is Over – The Verge article on the purported prevalence of Apple Vision Pro returns.
    • Can’t Wait to Return – Twitter user @RjeyTech talks about returning the “mind blowing piece of tech.”
    • Apple Needs a Flop – Manton’s post in anticipation of Vision Pro about how Apple could benefit from failure.
    • Large Bloody Patch – The Verge’s Parker Ortolani attributes a subconjunctival hemorrhage to Vision Pro use.
    • Marked up on eBay – Reply from Neil Bruder about the guy Manton say buying 6 or 7 Vision Pros.
    • Notes in Micro.blog – Manton’s announcement of a major new Micro.blog feature.

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    February 16, 2024 at 9:14 pm.

    Episode 586: A Little Bit of the Future

    Daniel and Manton talk about their experiences so far with the Apple Vision Pro. They question whether it’s safe to wear “all day” and whether it might damage your eyes. They talk about the various means of justifying the purchase, while Daniel argues that “experiencing a taste of the future” is worth more than money. Finally, they contemplate the future of Apple Vision and whether Apple will release updates annually or less frequently.

    Links:

    • Apple Vision Pro – Official site for Apple’s new headset.
    • Briefly Considered – Manton contemplates whether he might never buy another iPhone.
    • Black Ink – Daniel’s long-time macOS-based, and now iOS-based crossword solving app.
    • UIKit for Spatial Computing – WWDC video explaining how to adapt UIKit apps to be native visionOS apps.
    • Be Careful and Go Slowly – Brent Simmons writes about his approach to (not yet) supporting visionOS for NetNewsWire.
    • Meta Quest – VR devices at the higher end of Meta’s product line.
    • Ray-Ban | Meta – VR devices at the lower end of Meta’s product line.

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    February 10, 2024 at 12:20 am.

    Episode 583: Nobody But Apple

    Manton and Daniel talk about Apple’s latest workaround for lawsuits demanding they support “outside sales” on the iPhone. They talk about what Apple’s balance of priorities with money-making vs. world-changing should be, and whether they are on the right track. Finally, they ask whether Apple is destined to gradually lose its soul over time, and they issue a challenge to current Apple employees to turn things around.

    Many thanks to our sponsor this week:

    Links:

    • Updated App Store Policies – The Verge summarizes Apple’s latest change to US policies, allowing
    • Dictator on Day One – Manton’s blog post about the morality of Apple’s App Store policies.
    • Epic – Creator of Fortnite and one of Apple’s chief legal antagonists.
    • Shifting Baseline Syndrome – The notion that humans suffer from a shifting conception of what is right or acceptable, based on gradual deterioration.

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    January 20, 2024 at 3:56 am.

    Episode 582: Leaving Things Behind

    Daniel and Manton talk about two hardware AI-focused products: Rabbit and Humane’s Ai Pin. They compare the features, the prices, and question whether the premise from each company is true: do people really hate their phones? Daniel argues that Apple Watch is the form factor that these devices should be pursuing, and they both reflect on how the phenomenal growth of AI in the tech industry is expanding out of software and into AI.

    Links:

    • Ai Pin – Humane’s flagship AI assistant.
    • Rabbit r1 – A cheaper and in some ways more compelling hardware AI assistant.

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    January 13, 2024 at 12:30 am.